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ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: From the Mahican word quinnehtukqut, meaning "beside the long tidal river." NICKNAME: The Constitution State (official in 1959); also, the Nutmeg State. CAPITAL: Hartford. ENTERED UNION: 9 January 1788 (5th). SONG: "Yankee Doodle." MOTTO: Qui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains). COAT OF ARMS: On a rococo shield, three grape vines, supported and bearing fruit, stand against a white field. Beneath the shield is a streamer bearing the state motto. FLAG: The coat of arms appears on a blue field. OFFICIAL SEAL: The three grape vines and motto of the arms surrounded by the words Sigillum reipublicae Connecticutensis (Seal of the State of Connecticut). ANIMAL: Sperm whale. BIRD: American robin. INSECT: European praying mantis. FLOWER: Mountain laurel. TREE: White oak. MINERAL: Garnet. SHIP: USS Nautilus. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Good Friday, March or April; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.
Connecticut has a generally temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The January mean temperature is 27°F (–3°C) and the July mean is 70°F (21°C). Coastal areas have warmer winters and cooler summers than the interior. Norfolk, in the northwest, has a January mean temperature of 22°F (–6°C) and a July mean of 66°F (19°C), while Bridgeport, on the shore, has a mean of 30°F (–1°C) in January and of 71°F (22°C) in July. The highest recorded temperature in Connecticut was 106°F (41°C) in Danbury on 15 July 1995; the lowest, –32°F (–36°C) in Falls Village on 16 February 1943. The annual rainfall (1971–2000) was 46.2 in (117 cm), evenly distributed throughout the year. The state receives some 25 to 60 in (64 to 150 cm) of snow each year, with heaviest snowfall in the northwest.
Connecticut ranked 29th in population in the US with an estimated total of 3,460,503 in 2002, an increase of 1.6% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Connecticut's population grew from 3,287,116 to 3,405,565, an increase of 3.6%. The population is projected to reach 3.7 million by 2025.
The state had a population gain of 5.8% (about 180,000 residents) for the entire decade of the 1980s, compared with a US population growth of 9.7%. One sign of the population lag was that in 1990 Connecticut had the 11th lowest birthrate in the US, 14.5 live births per 1,000 population.
In 2000, Connesticut had the fourth-highest population density of all 50 states: 702.9 persons per sq mi, up from 678.5 persons per sq mi in 1990. The median age of residents in 2000 was 37.4; 13.8% were age 65 or older, while 24.7% were under 18 years old.
By the early 20th century, the forests that covered 95% of Connecticut in the 1630s were generally destroyed. Woodland recovery has been stimulated since the 1930s by an energetic reforestation program. Of the state's 1,859,000 acres (752,337 hectares) of forestland in 2002, more than half was wooded with new growth.
State forests covered some 168,000 acres (67,990 hectares) in 2002.
In 2002, there were 1,402,643 housing units in Connecticut, 1,305,518 of which were occupied; 69% were owner-occupied. About 59.6% of all units were single-family, detached homes. It was estimated that about 16,499 units were without telephone service, 2,998 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 2,995 lacked complete kitchen facilities. Most households (49%) relied on fuel oil (such as kerosene) for heating. The average household size was 2.57 people. New privately owned housing units authorized in 2002 numbered 9,731.
The Connecticut Sun became the state's first major league team when it joined the WNBA in 2003. The team was formerly the Orlando Miracle. Connecticut's only other major league professional team, the Hartford Whalers of the National Hockey League, moved to North Carolina following the 1996–97 season and became the Carolina Hurricanes. The New England Seawolves are members of the Arena Football League. New Haven has a minor league baseball franchise, the Ravens, as do Norwich and New Britain. There are also minor league hockey and basketball teams in the state. Auto racing takes place at Lime Rock Race Track, which is located in Salisbury.
The state licenses off-track betting facilities for horse racing (not actually held in the state) and pari-mutuel operations for greyhound racing and jai alai.
Connecticut schools, colleges, and universities provide amateur athletic competitions, highlighted by Ivy League football games on autumn Saturdays at the Yale Bowl in New Haven. While Yale has won 13 Ivy League football titles, the University of Connecticut has become a force in men's and women's basketball. The Huskies' women's team won the NCAA championship in 1995 and 2000, and back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. They have also advanced to two other Final Four tournaments. The men's team won the National Invitational Tournament in 1988 and has made 37 NCAA Tournament appearances and won the national championship in 1999. Other annual sporting events include the US Eastern Ski Jumping Championships in Salisbury in February and the Greater Hartford Open Golf Tournament in Cromwell in June and July.
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